Going out: December 2020

The UK is home to some of the world’s most impressive, educational and well-maintained museums and galleries, and there has never been a better time to get out of the house and immerse oneself in the arts. Wherever you are in the country, there’s a museum or gallery within driving distance. Most museums and galleries currently require that you book in advance, so please visit their websites for more information, and to ensure they are open when you plan to visit.

London

London has a vast variety of museums and galleries, which means the biggest and most popular are usually first on the list. Here are a couple that are definitely worth a trip.

National Maritime Museum
Often overlooked in favour of its city centre counterparts, this Greenwich museum has a staggering collection of artefacts and memorabilia, all of which comes with an incredible accompanying story.

London Transport Museum
If your geeky pleasure is buses, trains and all things TfL, this is the place for you. Complete with maps, art and vehicles that you can’t see elsewhere, it’s a London lover’s paradise.

Manchester

Manchester is determined to become the north of England’s cultural hub, and given that estimates suggest the city’s population is set to double in the next five years, you’d be a brave individual to bet against it. Here are two of the places worth visiting now.

People’s History Museum
This is, ostensibly, a museum dedicated to democracy, but it’s far more than that. The museum’s exhibits showcase the history of work in the UK and is dedicated to preserving an incredible set of materials showcasing cultural uprisings and movements.

Whitworth Art Gallery
Redesigned in 2015 to great acclaim, the Whitworth Art Gallery is as pretty on the outside as it is on the inside. Containing over 55,000 items, it is widely regarded as one of the best art collections in all of Europe.

Birmingham

Often referred to as England’s second city, it makes sense that Birmingham contains its fair share of museums and galleries of note. If you want to drive a little bit out of the city then it’s absolutely worth heading to the Black Country Living Museum or Cadbury World, but we’re going to remain in the city for our choices here.

Ikon Gallery
Housed inside a stunning Grade II building, this gallery is dedicated to all forms of media, from film to photography, sound to sculpture. Incredibly popular with schools, this is the perfect place to while away a rainy afternoon.

Eastside Projects
Referring to itself as an ‘artist-run multiverse’, Eastside Projects is a place for artistic events and endeavours of all kinds. There’s really no point trying to nail down what’s going on here because it changes so frequently, but that’s where its beauty lies.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the prettiest cities in the UK and is well worth a visit even if you don’t fancy hitting up any of its many museums or galleries, but your trip will only be strengthened if you decide to take the time to learn a little bit about the city’s heritage.

National Museum of Scotland
As the name suggests, this is a museum dedicated to all things Scottish, looking at the impact the country has had on the world, and highlighting the fact that it had punched above its weight so often throughout history and in any number of disciplines.

The Fruitmarket Gallery
Dedicated to contemporary art, and presenting local artists with an opportunity to showcase their work alongside some of the world’s most established painters and creators, this is a museum that is as unique as it is important.

Glasgow

Glaswegians are incredibly proud of their city’s rich history and culture, and that’s represented in any number of museums and galleries dotted around the Dear Green Place. Here are two that we love.

Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery
The oldest museum in all of Scotland, this establishment, dedicated to anatomist William Hunter, has an array of incredible exhibits, from huge fossil collections to ancient coins, scientific instruments to zoological devices.

Glasgow Police Museum
As the name implies, this museum is dedicated to the UK’s first official police force, which started operating in 1800. Situated right in the heart of the city, this museum offers a fascinating look at the city’s history of crime and crimefighting.

Cardiff

There are so many establishments worth visiting in Wales, from the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea to Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum, but today we’re going to focus on two fantastic places to head to when in Cardiff.

St. Fagans National Museum of History
This open-air museum gives visitors the opportunity to gain an understanding of what Cardiff life was like for generations gone by. It’s perfect if you want to know more about Welsh culture and architecture.

Techniquest
One of the best science and discovery centres in the entire UK, perhaps only matched by Eureka! in Halifax. If handson learning is what you’re after, then there really is nowhere better.

Belfast

Perhaps overlooked when it comes to heritage and art, Belfast is a city with a heck of a lot to offer. Whatever you’re interested in, and regardless of your prior knowledge of Northern Irish culture, there will be something here to whet your cultural appetite.

Titanic Belfast
For better or worse, Belfast is perhaps best known as the city that built the illfated ocean liner Titanic. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the best elements of the ship, highlighting what went wrong, and discussing why it still fascinates people 100 years after its sinking.

Crumlin Road Gaol Europa Hotel
Whether you’re already a fan of plantbased food, or simply want to understand a little bit more about the growing vegan movement, you’ll find something to enjoy here. With food stalls, demonstrations and talks, get ready to enter vegan heaven!

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